Illinois Paralegal Schools

There are several Illinois paralegal schools where one can earn a paralegal degree and enter this growing job field that is expected to grow by nearly a third in the coming decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Being a paralegal is a rewarding career, and there are opportunities to pursue this vocation through both on-campus and online paralegal degree programs. Although the state of Illinois does not require paralegals to have a degree, a wider range of opportunities and a higher salary are reasons for pursuing a degree in paralegal or legal studies.

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Profiles of Well Known Schools

Loyola University – Chicago: The Institute for Paralegal Studies at Loyola University, Chicago has a top-rated American Bar Association approved Certificate in Paralegal Studies program. This program is a total of 24 credit hours with 14 hours of foundation courses, six hours of concentration courses, and four hours of electives. Students are able to choose from three different concentrations: Civil Litigation, Corporate/Commercial Transactions, and Corporate/Real Estate. Over two dozen legal professionals teach for the Institute for Paralegal Studies, with careers ranging from attorneys to judges.

Illinois State University: The Department of Politics and Government at Illinois State University has an American Bar Association approved paralegal training program. Students are required to complete 24 credit hours of Legal Studies courses in addition to university core classes. The fundamental courses include Introduction to Law for Paralegals, Legal Research I and II, and Litigation I and II. Five out of the three dozen faculty members specialize in Legal Studies, many of which possess a Juris Doctor.

How to Become a Paralegal in Illinois

There are just under 10,000 paralegals practicing in the state of Illinois. The Illinois Association of Paralegals assess that paralegals in Illinois are able to practice on a greater scale than those in other states. In Illinois, paralegals are able to appear independently in a court of law to present routine motions. While there are no guidelines pertaining to the certification or registration of the paralegal, there is a clear set of professional conduct and ethics that are set forth by the state of Illinois. Paralegals are not allowed to represent themselves as attorneys nor are they allowed to give legal advice.

The median salary for paralegals in the state of Illinois is $53,640.00.

Paralegal Schools in Illinois

There are many campus-based paralegal degree programs in Illinois that are ABA approved. Some programs offer an associate’s degree (Radford Career College and the Chicago, Orland Park, and Springfield campuses of Robert Morris College), and some offer both an associate’s degree and a post-degree certificate (College of Lake County, Elgin Community College, Illinois Central College, Kankakee Community College, South Suburban College, and Harper College). Northwestern College offers a certificate and associate’s degree in paralegal studies. Loyola University-Chicago, Roosevelt University, and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale offer bachelor’s degrees in paralegal studies. Loyola and Roosevelt also offer post-degree certificates. Two programs are not ABA-approved, but are accredited: Brown Mackie College, accredited by ACICS, offers a diploma in the paralegal assistant program, and Rasmussen College, which is HLC accredited, offers an associate’s in paralegal.

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There are also several online paralegal degree programs that are available that offer an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree (Kaplan University – School of Legal Studies, Hodges University, and Keiser University).

Illinois Paralegal Professional Associations

If you are interested in learning about becoming a paralegal in Illinois, you might contact one of the paralegal organizations, the Central Illinois Paralegal Association, the Heart of Illinois Paralegal Association, or the Illinois Paralegal Association.

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Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Illinois

Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is one of the top thirty largest law firms in Illinois, with attorneys practicing throughout the state. Brinks recently received recognition from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association for its focus on creating an inclusive working environment. Brinks seeks paralegals with outstanding academic performance and strong communication skills. International firm Sidley Austin LLP has offices in Chicago, where it has maintained an office for over 140 years. Now one of the largest, oldest, and most respected law firms in the state Sidley Austin offers competitive benefits and compensation with bonuses and generous paid leave. Clifford Law Offices is one of the top ranked personal injury attorney firms in Illinois, and has been recognized by US News’ Best Law Firm Guide. The firm regularly uses top of the line technology in its trial responses, requiring paralegal support for research and preparation.

Illinois Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected 28% growth in the profession in the decade of 2008-2018, so becoming a paralegal is an excellent career option for many. The middle 50% of paralegals in Illinois earn between $45,027 and $58,777 annually. Salary figures vary depending on geographic location, as paralegals in Chicago, for example, are likely to earn more than those in more rural areas.

Online and Illinois Paralegal Schools

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Keiser University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Paralegal Studies, AA (Online Only)
  • Legal Studies, BA (Online)

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Liberty University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • CERT: Paralegal Studies

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Globe University
Campuses: 1Minneapolis
Popular Degrees:

  • BS-Paralegal
  • AAS-Paralegal

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Kaplan University - KHE
Campuses: 1Davenport
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science: Paralegal Studies
  • Associate of Applied Science: Paralegal Studies
  • Certificate: Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate

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Grand Canyon University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies


Student Review: “Going to college online was great, yet it was not as easy as going to a regular university because it took a lot of discipline. I could sit in my classroom at any time I chose, drinking coffee, smoking and even lounging in my pajamas. I also enjoyed the fact that on each Sunday I could view that week’s assignments. Questions were posted on a message board and each student had to answer at least two of the four or five questions posted by the instructor. Also, once a week we had to attend an online seminar and participate in it. I made a lot of friends online and the instructors were great. Most instructors were attorneys and we all were given a lot of help. I believe I wouldn’t have learned as much if I had attended a normal university. I’m hoping to return and get my bachelor’s degree.” -Curt S., student at Kaplan University

Featured Paralegal School in IL

MacCormac College (Chicago, IL) >>Request Information!
www.maccormac.edu
(312) 922-1884

Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Court Reporting
Associate of Applied Science | Court Reporting
Associate of Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Legal Office Technology


Paralegal Schools in Illinois

Brown Mackie College (Moline, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Diploma | Paralegal Assistant

City Colleges of Chicago-Wilbur Wright College (Chicago, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal

College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

College of Lake County (Grayslake, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal Studies

Elgin Community College (Elgin, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Vocational Certificate | Paralegal

Ellis University (Chicago, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies (online program)
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies (online program)

Harper College (Palatine, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Kankakee Community College (Kankakee, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies
Certificate | Paralegal/Legal Assistant Studies

Kaplan University (Chicago, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal (online program)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Paralegal Studies
Post Baccalaureate Certificate | Paralegal

Lewis and Clark Community College (Godfrey, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate of Proficiency | Paralegal

Lewis University (Romeoville, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies

Northwestern College (Bridgeview, IL; Chicago, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal (online program)
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal

Rasmussen College (Aurora, IL; Rockford, IL; Romeoville, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate Degree | Paralegal
Associate Degree | Paralegal (online program)

Robert Morris University (Chicago, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Professional Studies | Law Office Administration

Rockford Career College (Rockford, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal
Diploma | Legal Secretary

Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal
Certificate | Paralegal
Diploma | Paralegal

South Suburban College (South Holland, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Court Reporting/Verbatim Technology
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal/Legal Assistant
Associate of Applied Science | Court Reporting
Certificate | Court Reporting
Certificate | Court Reporting/Verbatim Technology
Certificate | Court Reporting/Verbatim Technology Basic
Certificate | Court Reporting/Verbatim Technology Machine Shorthand Secretarial
Certificate | Paralegal/Legal Assistant

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (Carbondale, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Bachelor of Arts | Paralegal Studies

Southwestern Illinois College (Belleville, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Associate in Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Sparks College (Shelbyville, IL)
Paralegal Degrees Offered:
Certificate | Court Reporting (online program)

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.